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Poster: patourkid Date: May 28, 2007 4:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: etta james?

thanx driftin thats what i was lookin for...I believe some of the best dead was the stuff with horns, seems to really mesh with the free from style, I always wondered why they didnt follow the jazz vibe more,it really suited them well and its very clear in listening to wiers post dead stuff that he is all for the jazzy style. Goes ta show ya dont ever know...

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Poster: BryanE Date: May 28, 2007 6:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: etta james?

Grateful Dead music evolved out of the jazz tradition on a number of different levels. Improvisation was central to Bebop, Dixieland, and I'm not enough of a scholar to come up with anything else at the moment. The Dead developed a form for themselves with which they were able to take that sense of experimentation and run with it. Another very important ingredient in their brew was the blues, and you'll notice Etta making note of it during that New Year's show. Rock and roll, the bastard son of jazz and blues, was entering its adolescence at the time that Garcia chose to focus upon it as his chosen mode of expression. Something about the sound of those electric guitars and drums just appealed to him and generations to follow. Horns could certainly augment the Grateful Dead's sound, but they could also be a bit cumbersome as a constant element. There are plenty of examples of horn players sitting in with the Dead, particularly reed men such as Branford Marsalis and even Clarence Clemons. The New Year's show with Etta also featured the Tower of Power horns, and without question, it's a five star lineup. I especially get off on the little moments when Jerry's guitar lines poke their way to the forefront of what is a particularly busy mix, as if to say, "It all comes back to this, folks!" The relative rarity of shows like that one, while they might inspire the question of why they didn't do that sort of thing more often, makes them just that much more special.